As with the previous nights of this festival of Jewish Cubs players, we begin with the music of Steve Goodman. For more about this song, and Steve Goodman generally, click here.
The profile of Dave Roberts is here. Sam Fuld is here, and Ken Holtzman is here. Tonight’s post will focus on the winningest active Jewish pitcher in the majors, Jason Marquis. He wasn’t drafted by the Cubs, and isn’t with them anymore, (he’ll be with the Minnesota Twins next season, if you’re curious) but he spent two seasons with the Cubs in 2007 and 2008.
The thing I’ll always remember about Jason Marquis is that he wore number 21, which Sammy Sosa also wore during his heyday in Chicago. Sosa left after the 2004 season, and his number (which he wore because it was Roberto Clemente’s number) lay unused for a couple of seasons thereafter. But like the big dirt spot out in right field at Wrigley Field–which, it was said, was there to tell Sammy where to stand during the game–the stigma of “Sammy’s number” was eventually papered over, and Marquis was the first to wear it post-Sosa. Others to wear #21 since have included Milton Bradley and Tyler Colvin.
There’s an irony to the number that Marquis wore, as there so often is. When Sammy Sosa left the game, he was within reach of 600 career home runs. The situation with the Cubs fans–which was fueled by his walking out on the final day of the 2004 season–was such that the milestone would not come in a Cubs uniform. After a season in Baltimore, and another season out of the game, Sosa came back with the Texas Rangers in 2007. He did hit his 600th homer, in an interleague game against the Cubs, off of Marquis, who was wearing his old number at the time. You can’t make this stuff up.
Marquis was signed for three years with the Cubs, but was traded away to the Rockies after only two seasons on the North Side. The Cubs were but one stop on Marquis’ major league journey, and I wish him well in the years to come (especially when he’s in the American League).
There are four nights left in this series, and another pitcher will be profiled tomorrow night. The full Marquis appears below:
As always, thanks for reading. See you tomorrow night.